The business, which produces potato-based and corn-based extruded snacks, has increased capacity and production line speeds by 25% and reduced downtime as a result of the investment.
Maravilla said it had wanted to boost production capacity to ensure it stayed competitive and met growing demand for snack products in the domestic Algerian market and overseas. Snacks were thriving in Algeria as eating habits changed, it added, with more people – particularly children – opting for mini-sized bags of chips.
Change in the lifestyle
Analysts Euromonitor said growth in snacking was partly the result of a change in the lifestyle of many Algerian consumers, with increasingly busy work schedules pushing up demand for convenient snacks for consumption between meals.
Maravilla has replaced a manual process with an automated conveying system developed by food packaging and processing solutions supplier tna.
Working with tna, Maravilla integrated nine tna Roflo vibratory conveyors and three mini feeders into its potato/corn pellet line, and updated its control systems.
The Roflo conveyor incorporates an “innovative reaction base design and intelligent microprocessor for a much greater stroke length at a lower frequency”, said TNA, which added this enabled Maravilla to improve throughput by 25% and achieve a smoother transfer of products. The conveyor also has no metal-to-metal bacteria build-up areas, and all conveyor trays are fully welded or scalloped, which tna said reduced contamination risk and would help the business comply with increasingly stringent food safety regulations in Algeria.
Three tailored mini-feeders were installed to link the conveying system to Maravilla’s fryer. These feature optical sensors that monitor pellet levels and can help to minimize stoppages, according to tna.
The supplier has also installed a fully integrated control system across Maravilla’s entire production line. Through a combination of programmable logic controller systems and sensors, operators can accurately control the speed at which the product is transferred into the fryer and the optimum frying temperature, and have complete control over the seasoning system, said tna, adding this would avoid unnecessary waste.
Better workforce efficiency
Tna said a concise Human Machine Interface system gave additional advantages including better workforce efficiency, improved product quality and enhanced product safety.
“For the entire process to be successful, we conducted a complete analysis of Maravilla’s requirements,” said tna regional sales director Julien Amiaud. “Any new equipment had to work with Maravilla’s current set-up while still achieving the production benefits the company was looking for. By working closely with the company, we produced a design that would fit seamlessly with the existing layout.”